Roundup: Beach Tables, Primary Day, Baron’s South …

I took a beach walk late yesterday afternoon.

It was a gorgeous start to the weekend. The sky was cloudless; the temperature and breeze, perfect.

But something was missing: maybe half the South Beach picnic tables.

How could that be? They’re very, very heavy. Where would they go, and why?

I tried to think of any event that would take precedence.

Nope. So I gave up, and figured it was just my imagination.

South Beach yesterday, 6 p.m. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Before I finished my walk though, 3 groups of people stopped me. All wondered: What happened to the South Beach tables?

I have no idea. The Parks & Rec office is closed for the weekend, so they can’t help.

We’ll just have to crowdsource this. If you know what happened to all those picnic tables, click “Comments” below.

And if you took them: Bring them back. No questions asked.


Election Day is near!

Republican Primary and Democratic Primary scheduled for Tuesday, August 9.

Polls are open between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Click here to find your polling place.

Absentee ballot applications are available through the Town Clerk’s office. The drop box at the rear of Town Hall is ready to receive applications and absentee ballots. Click here for information on absentee ballots.

Connecticut has a closed primary system. Only enrolled Democrats may vote in the Democratic primary, and only enrolled Republicans may vote in the Republican primary. The deadline for changing parties has already passed.

However, an unaffiliated voter may select a party up to noon the day before the primary, changing to one of the major parties. Click here to verify your party status.

If you are not yet a registered voter, applications must be postmarked by August 4. In-person registration is available until noon on August 8.


Looking for a cool movie next week?

The Remarkable Theater schedule includes these shows, at the Imperial Avenue drive-in:

“Dirty Dancing” (Monday, July 18; gate opens 7:15 p.m., movie at 8:15 p.m.): Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle. Rated PG-13.

“Scream” (Wednesday, July 20; gate opens at 7:30 p.m.; movie at 8:30 p.m.): A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game. Rated R.

Click here for tickets and more information.

A night at the drive-in. (Photo courtesy of 4th Row Films)


Not far from the Remarkable Theater, just steps from downtown, Baron’s South is a 22-acre jewel.

But, Molly Alger says, the park needs some maintenance. Walking paths are overgrown with weeds. She took this photo on her way from the Senior Center to Compo Road South:

(Photo/Molly Alger)


Next Saturday, there’s a double treat for fans of Staples Players alumni.

2013 graduate Michelle Pauker returns to Westport for a star turn in “Broadway Through the Ages.” The MoCA show (July 23, 7 p.m., 19 Newtown Turnpike) is  an evening of memorable tunes, from Golden Age to contemporary.

Music direction is by acclaimed Juilliard & Oxford Academy composer Jake Landau — a 2013 classmate of Michelle’s.

Entry to the museum’s “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse” exhibit is included in the admission. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Michelle Pauker


Speaking of former Staples Players: Congratulations to Britt Hennemuth!

The 2008 Staples High School and 2012 Pepperdine University graduate is now the West Coast editor for Vanity Fair.

He’s just published his first cover story: “Dakota Johnson on Family, Sexual Agency—And the ‘Psychotic’ Making of Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Click here to read — including one of the best opening lines in any magazine story, anywhere. (Hat tip: Jeff Wieser)

Britt Hennemuth


CORRECTION: An incorrect date was given yesterday for the Westport Astronomical Society’s “Cal & Friends Meteorite Show & Tell Party.” The correct date is this coming Tuesday (July 19, 8 p.m.), at the observatory on Bayberry Lane.


Staples High School Class of 2006 graduate Joanne Smith died last Sunday.

The Chicago native moved to Brazil for 8 months after graduation, before beginning work in the hospitality industry. She had a passion for fitness, nutrition and exercise, and enjoyed being outdoors.

She was an animal lover, an avid reader (particularly Harry Potter), and a movie buff. She particularly enjoyed the beach and dog, Romie.

She is survived by her mother, Katherine Gordon Smith of Stratford; father Gregory and stepmother Donna of Fairfield; brother Matthew of Norwalk; sister Jennifer (Rodolfo Antorocha) of Washington, DC, and maternal grandmother Sally Grabot.

Her family says, “Joey was a fun, kind, loving, intelligent light in the family and to all who knew her. She took on the annual role of Christmas Elf to hand out presents.Joey was well loved by family, friends and co-workers.”

The family will greet relatives and friends on Monday (July 18, 11 a.m. to noon, Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull), followed by a Mass of Christian Burial (12:30 p.m., Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 545 Stratfield Road, Fairfield).

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the ASPCA. To leave online condolences, click here.

Joanna Smith


Does the rule about dogs on the beach apply to the jetty that forms Compo’s border?

Who cares. This is a classic “Westport … Naturally” photo. Enjoy!

(Photo/Richard Abramowitz)


And finally … you may or may not have seen “Dirty Dancing” (the next Remarkable Theater film — story above).

But in 1987, there was no escaping this song:

(“06880” runs on contributions from readers like you. Please click here to add your support.)


8 responses to “Roundup: Beach Tables, Primary Day, Baron’s South …



  2. There’s a reason why Barons South, the once beautiful open space in the heart of downtown Westport, looks as if it has been abandoned. And that’s because it has been abandoned. As reported in the Westport Journal, the Tooker Administration has specifically instructed the Parks Supervisor to not perform any maintenance in this park. So there you have it; the deliberate destruction of a valuable taxpayer owned asset. What an utter disgrace.

  3. Beach Picnic Tables; The took them to get them ready for your up coming “06880” party! 🙂


    You have really hit a sore spot.
    There were 32 Grills and 41 Tables. The grills were all the concrete formed grills with metal inserts.. All of the tables were wood. The concreter forms were made off season by Parks . & Rec crews as were the Wooden tables,.
    gradually over time the tables were replaced by .The welcome to McDonalds plastic junk. Somehow the Wooden tables stayed cleaner as they washed off well in the rain which does not occur with the plastic ones. Prior to Covid we has a few wooden tables left some were standard picnic size but there were seven magnificent double size tables. they were in very good shape except that one had a crossbar which held a seat dislodged from the leg it stayed that way for two seasons so i finally nailed it back. The Doubles ended up being the last wooden tables . On two different times The best of the seven was moved to a location next to the sidewalk and then mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the night. The five remaining were removed during Covid restrictions never to return. As to the Grills, Park and Rec crews lost their concrete skills and they were replaced over time. Seven remained but were removed during Covid never to be returned. The metal grill replacements in place now are always disgustingly filthy and the ground around them is always littered with discarded coals. (the concrete grills had a used coal disposal area to avoid as much as possible the coals in the sand problem). During that period I tried many times to get traction with RTM members and staff but nothing worked. The result is what we have now.. Not very inviting in my book. If you want to enjoy the pleasure of a wooden picnic table visit Sherwood Island. The state crews are still making them and they last a long time. Westport has lost a very unique picnic area. The amazing thing to me is while the RTM passes regulations to eliminate plastic the Rec Commission creates a 100% plastic portfolio. Aren’t you glad you asked?

  5. Tom Feeley Sr

    Yep‼️Great opening line 😂😂🇺🇸

  6. I noticed many tables disappeared last summer and heard that several had been taken to Staples High School although I did not confirm that. Last Thursday quite a few more disappeared and I noticed four or five at the beach school grounds. They are not usually there so maybe they needed them for a special event. Certainly this town can afford a few more picnic tables!

  7. Wendy Crowther

    The complete abandonment of any maintenance at Baron’s South (BS) by our Parks & Recreation Dept. is a disgrace. Apparently, our town leaders are also continuing to look the other way – I’ve heard no urging from them to change that status.

    The huge pile of earth that was excavated to create the Senior Center’s addition several years ago still sits where it was dumped (in a former BS meadow) despite promises that it would be moved. A landscaping plan that was designed and paid for in 2017 still sits on a shelf. That same plan, which was supposed to be tweaked by the same firm in 2020, has also never seen the light of day. Nope. Nada. Nothing. Except empty promises.

    Invasive plants have overtaken the landscape (including the dreaded Mile-a-Minute Vine that is exponentially increasing each year it is left in place). The Baron’s beautiful trail system has nearly disappeared. Offers from residents to help improve the grounds have been ignored. Pleas and ideas pitched from/by those of us who remember what the property looked like when the town purchased it 23 years ago are overlooked or forgotten.

    We’ve bought plans. We’ve heard promises. We’ve offered and provided our own sweat equity. We’ve waited . . . for years.

    PLEASE stop the neglect. Parks & Rec., DO something. Town Hall, please MAKE them.

  8. I noticed that I was able get a spot on the beach to sunbath.